Feds investigating if Mayor Eric Adams' campaign received illegal donations

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Friday, November 3, 2023
Feds investigating if Adams campaign received illegal donation
N.J. Burkett has the latest details in the investigation into Mayor Eric Adams.

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams says he will fully cooperate with investigators who raided the home of the chief fundraiser for his 2021 campaign.

The feds are looking into whether his campaign received illegal donations.

While the mayor is not accused of any wrongdoing, the raid did prompt him to suddenly cancel his trip to Washington D.C. for meetings on the migrant crisis.

The feds are investigating if a Williamsburg construction company and a group of Turkish nationals may have made improper donations to the mayor's 2021 election campaign.

"I am outraged and angry if anyone attempted to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign," Adams said in a statement Friday. "I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, direct or otherwise, of any improper fundraising activity-and certainly not of any foreign money. We will of course work with officials to respond to inquiries, as appropriate-as we always have."

Adams is also promising complete transparency.

"It is my responsibility to hold myself to a high standard and I will comply with any inquiry that is made and I demand that my team do the same," Adams said.

FBI agents executed a search warrant Thursday at the Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home of 25-year-old Brianna Suggs -- a campaign consultant and top Democratic fundraiser.

She is described as someone with extremely close ties to the mayor's inner circle who has had a very rapid rise professionally.

The construction company in question, KSK Construction Group, apparently donated about $14,000 to the mayor's 2021 campaign.

While law enforcement has been investigating KSK, an FBI official tells Eyewitness News that they did not execute a search warrant at its office Thursday.

Dan Krauth explains what implications this investigation could have on the mayor. David Birdsell, Provost at Kean University, provides additional insight.

Suggs was home at the time of the raid on her house.

She was not arrested but it is possible she could be called at some point to testify before a grand jury.

"There may have been a straw donor arrangement, where somebody is paying money but it looks as if somebody else is making the campaign contribution," said David Birdsell, provost at Kane University. "It's entirely plausible if this happened, and again we don't know that it did, but if this happened, that it happened on behalf of the mayor but without the mayor's knowledge, in which case he would be legally... uninvolved."

A straw donor arrangement was alleged in another case involving the mayor's campaign.

Back in July, four people were charged in a scheme to raise money through straw donations for Adams' campaign. The defendants then intended to pressure the mayor's office for construction jobs.

Adams wasn't charged and a campaign spokesman said then "we would never tolerate these actions."

The former city buildings commissioner under Adams, Eric Ulrich, was also charged in September with using his position to dole out favors, including access to the mayor, in exchange for cash and other bribes.

Adams has distanced himself from both cases, which were brought in state court and did not directly implicate his campaign or administration.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WATCH | Political analyst breaks down FBI raid on top fundraiser for Mayor Adams

Hank Sheinkopf has more on the possible implications of an FBI raid on Mayor Adam's top fundraiser.


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